Thursday, October 13, 2011

I still sew...

Hi, just a quick post to say "hello" and keep my blog active....sort of!  I have been very busy with un-craft related things (boo hoo :( . but have manged to make this bag in small (desperate to sew) blocks of time! 

It's one of the wonderful bag pattern freebies that use to be offered by "Oh Fransson".  I don't understand why its not offered anymore.  A lot of free patterns are being taken off the free list and put up later for sale.  Is the GFC to blame for this???

Amongst other things I have been on holiday in the beautiful seaside town of Streaky Bay, South Australia.  Might do a post on it once the hell of a holiday fades and the family and I can finally laugh about it.

I went on this holiday with my hubby and about 30 members of his family!  The logistics of holidaying with so many and planning the days, ensuring no one gets left behind in the caravan park on fishing trips defies belief.  Also just following the car in front with no idea where you are heading for is just plain silly!  People got cut off from the convoy and then lost!!!  Plan your holidays better than we did, folks or just camp close to home.  Streaky Bay is about 830km from home.  Way too far!

Anyway, enough about that.  I am off for some much needed therapy!  In my sewing room of course!  (just borrowed the "One Metre Wonders" book from the library and it looks awesome!)



Saturday, September 17, 2011

Current doings

I've had a good week this week!  I hope you have too!  The lovely spring sunshine is fabulous and always puts me in a cheerful mood.

In the sewing room, I have been running up some monster pencil cases.  My daughter spotted one on the net and asked me to make her one.  She loved it immensely and took it to school where her friends saw it and one of them asked me (it was more like begged! lol) to make her one.  I couldn't refuse her or my niece and so it has been production line central around here!

A small but very important tip for anyone who decides they want to have a go at making monster pencil cases:  Do not use stretch denim!  Only use a sturdy fabric or else it all stretches out of shape.  Save your old (non stretchy) jeans for this and keep your eyes out for any size zips in thrift stores.  All of the zips I used were about 50cm in length.  I just stitched as normal and cut off the left over bit just before turning case to the right side.

I am going to make a few more to keep in reserve for the next child that asks for one and will photograph my sewing steps for those just learning the joy of sewing.

These girls are my attempt at the 'Black Apple Doll' pattern.  Thank you to Emily from the Black Apple blog for providing this free pattern

My girls are not quite finished yet.  Still stuffing their tiny little arms and legs!  One little lady (shown below) is falling behind on her sisters and still feeling very flat.

These girls will be 'waiting in reserve' for just the right home to go to.  I often read of blogs doing 'soft toy appeals' for charity and like to get involved but something else always comes up that uses my time and I fall behind the deadline for delivery.  I have decided to make things in advance and only offer to send some stuff whenever I have some already made.

If this blog post sounds a little all over the place, I sincerely apologize.  It feels like an epic post that has been 5 days in the making!  Every time I sit down to get this blog post up, I have been dragged away.  Dragged off screaming to Zumba classes, dragged off to wander around a new shopping centre under construction, dragged off to drive around the countryside lost etc.  When I did get to write a few words I found that I had not uploaded my pictures yet.  On trying to upload pictures, the computer ignored the camera plugged in and I had to wait for the master to get home from work to sort it out.

And they say a good blog should post 3 or 4 times a week!  I had trouble just getting the one completed!!

Cheerio!  (getting dragged off to the city to buy a Campmaster portable toilet and tent whoo hoo excitement plus!!) (not!)

Monday, September 5, 2011

and the winner is.......

Today is the day!  I got to pick a winner for my bag giveaway.

The winning comment is: 16

Congratulations Ariane!  I hope you enjoy many days out with your new bag.

I love doing giveaways and am thinking of doing a lot more because I love making stuff and I don't want to overload my family and friends!  I'll overload you guys instead!!!  Nasty aren't I? lol

Currently making some monster pencil cases for family and one of my daughters friends.  This monster pencil case has proven popular.  My daughter loves hers and her friends have asked me to make them one too.  Will show them later, along with some simple dolls I have been making.  I have used the black apple doll pattern and love mixing and matching fabric scraps. 

Kind regards.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

slipper parade

My messenger type bag GIVEAWAY here.  Closes 4th September.

Now onto my slipper parade.

The pattern and instructions for these comfy slippers was found in the magazine SEW HIP issue 20.  These slippers have cotton uppers lined with fleece.  The sole is three layers consisting of curtain blackout (makes a nice non slip base), wadding and fleece.  The instruction's diagram was a bit misleading and the layers came out wrong.  The wadding is on top!!!  I have corrected the pattern's instructions for future reference.

 Same as above 'Sew Hip' pattern.  Made from soft fleece, making these very comfy indeed.

These red slippers were made by using the cuffs from a man's shirt!  What a great recycling idea!  I used this tutorial.  It is written in a language I don't know, but the pictures were ample enough for me to work out how to put them together.   I am definitely going to attempt these again.  On the lookout for nice men's shirts now!

I have given these slippers to a friend, who after her new house was built, did her own flooring using some beautiful polished floor boards.  Hopefully her guests will use these slippers and help keep her floor looking fantastic!  I know I will.

PS  To my friends who have entered my giveaway, if you haven't already done so, you can add another entry for being my follower.  I will be using the number generator to pick a winner, so please get your extra entry!!


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Bag Giveaway

I have been making some bags from Nicole Mallalieu's book 'You Sew, Girl' and it has been fantastic!  Such great easy patterns and easy to understand instructions with lots of photo's of the steps.  I have enjoyed the bag making so much that I couldn't stop at just one!

I can't keep them all and so I am going to give one of them away.  I had a really hard time trying to choose which one to keep myself and had to get the eeny, meeny, miny, moe ritual to lend a hand.

Made from sturdy denim and cotton flap.  It has a key chain fob attached to lining.  Also a phone pocket and a zippered pocket.

back view

A (not very good) view of lining, pockets and key fob.

If you would a chance to win this bag all you have to do is:

1) Leave a lovely comment!

To have more entries in this giveaway, you could also post about this giveaway on your blog. (feel free to use any of my photo's for the job:) This provides you with the added bonus of having an extra blog post for this week. (thumbs up to quick and easy posts!)

You could also become a follower for another entry!  I love lovely crafty friends!

Giveaway closes on the 4th of September, which incidentally is Fathers Day.  Maybe I should have made this bag out of manly fabrics! 

PS:  Open to all (on Earth!)

Good luck!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sewing is my drug of choice!

Sewing gives me such euphoria when I finally complete a project.  The exact opposite occurs when a project becomes a UFO.  So I am very happy to be finishing off quite a bit of stuff lately.

A simple tote with ample pockets for .....well, anything!  This pattern is going to help me get through my large stash of fabric.  I went on a sheet buying frenzy when it was all the rage and sheets have lots of fabric!

Another fold over flap bag!  So easy to make!  This pattern will also help me get through some of my stash.  I interfaced the lining on this bag and not the outer.  I  only added some canvas type fabric interlining on the outer and it worked out well.  Sturdy yet soft.

I purchased a fantastic sewing book and made a gorgeous bag from it that I will show next.  I just have some finishing off to do to the bag and I also would like some sunshine for the photography or a light box.  I might make one following these instructions.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Messenger Bag

My latest bag was inspired by many of the flap type bags out there in blogland, especially this one from Kristen of the 'So Happy' blog.

The photo's aren't great.  Sorry!  I hope it's just the dark, overcast days and not my camera!

Pockets!  There are two more on the inside!

The cute little key fob is not only cute but functional.  No more rummaging through looking for car keys in the pouring rain in a car park!

I made this bag to sell.  I had to do something to stop my nieces always going on about selling my stuff.  Drove me crazy.  So I made this, and a tote that I will show next week, to put into a shop to sell. Now I have an answer to give the next person who says "I should sell my stuff".  I can say I do.

Boring bit:  Update on my health.  I had a test for Ross River Virus a few weeks ago.  The results were negative.  The only other answer I can think of for my rash and muscle aches was I may have poisoned myself.  Pretty embarrassing but I had to mention it to the doctor and she said yes and to stop spraying weed killer on my footpaths.

I took all the safety precautions!  Wore a face mask, gloves, and covered up my entire body even though it was stinking hot.  I sweated a lot and the sweat may have unsealed my face mask because I did get some vapors in my mouth.  It tasted awful and I stopped straight away and had a thorough wash.  I sprayed a Sat or Sunday and the rash was over my entire body by Wednesday.  What do you think?  Could have been.

Also the reason my muscles still ache and don't seem to be recovering could be because the doctor slipped in a Vitamin D test and my results show I am very deficient.  The normal range for VitD is 60 - 140 and I am 45 so taking Osterlin now and making sure I get outside for walks more often.

Take care of yourselves and catch ya later!

Friday, July 29, 2011

shabby chic bag

Hello to anyone still reading my blog! I thank you for your patience!  I am finally getting a blog post up about one of the bags I have been making recently!

Due to my getting side tracked reading some fantastic blogs tonight (again!!), I am having to keep my blog post short and to the point.

The point is just this bag.  Isn't it lovely?  To all the recyclers out there... this bag in its entirety is made from recycled/ vintage goods. (oops, except interfacing).  The main fabric is a interior fabric swatch I found one day and the flap is a vintage embroidered doily found while op-shopping.

The lining is some pretty floral fabric scrap picked up from a garage sale awhile ago, while the bag handle was a great vintage find and finishes off the bag quite nicely.

Cheers for now.  Will be back soon with pics of another bag.  Plus some tea towels I appliqued and room shoes I made for a friend.  I've got to take the photos first but the skies are grey, grey and more grey!!!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

sorry guys/gals

I haven't posted for awhile and just want to write a quick note to let you know that I haven't been kidnapped or killed.  I have been ill.  The doc's opinion is its Ross River Virus.  I have only just had the test  and am still waiting for results.  Alas, testing at the time of getting crook is useless as 'ross river' takes up to six weeks to show up.

Feeling achy and tired.  My eyesight is deteriorating and can be depressing for crafty people who like to hand sew!  I am finding it rather difficult to focus up close.  Doctor diagnosed me with 'Surfer's Eye'.  Not internet surfer but wind surfers.  I have sun and wind damage.  Playing on the internet does make my eye go blood shot really quickly so have tried to give my eye a break from the computer for most stuff except quick email stuff and facebook keeping in touch stuff.  My eye became much improved with pain and redness from the break.!

But I have made some bags!!  and will take some photos soon as I find my camera!

Take care.  I am going to try and have a massive catchup on everyones blog real soon (and most likely cause my eye to play up and become sore again!)  I am going to have a beeper near my PC to remind me to have a huge break after 30 mins. maybe sooner.  Or program my PC to shut down after 30 mins/hour and not let me back on till I have had a break!  Any opinions?  Does anyone else have eye problems that using a computer worsens?

Friday, March 25, 2011


I got some shocking and disturbing news last week.    My father's, sister's great grandson who is only 7 years old has been diagnosed with a brain tumour.  We don't have much info yet as half of Dad's siblings stayed living in England while the rest of the family migrated to Australia in the early 50's.

What is shocking,  is that this is the third child in our family to be diagnosed with pediatric cancer.  My son, as I have previously posted was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour called Medulloblastoma when he was 6 years old and my sisters youngest was diagnosed (two years before my son) with Acute Lymphatic Leukemia when she was 7 years old.  We are all wondering if this is all an awfully shocking coincidence or if some sinster mutation has affected our childrens DNA.

I feel really bad hoping that the child in England has a different brain tumour to Medulloblastoma.  If he has the same, how are they going to feel knowing that a child in our family suffered poorly with it and didn't survive.  What if the family want me to give support?  I don't feel I would be the best person for that because I cant give postives.  My son died.

I can only give info on what went wrong in my sons treatment and advise them on what to look out for, but really I would like for them to have a positive feeling that their child is going to live.

My hands are shaking as I write this.  I keep getting flashbacks.  The unresolved anger at certain professionals keeps coming back.  I keep planning on writing a letter to those people to let them know how they made me feel and that what they did was not right and maybe they wont make the same mistakes again.  But I never write the letter.  The anger subsides again.  I make excuses for them eg understaffed, no department head, unprecedented new cases of childhood cancer being diagnosed etc.

I haven't had any paid work this week to take me out and keep me occupied and feel really too flat to visit friends (plus they are mostly at work anyway) and I feel no motivation to do anything at home.  The house is a mess and needs my sole attention at the moment but not tonight.  Tonight I am visiting Mr Jim Beam.

 2011 is a bad year.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Rushed, unplanned birthday gift.

Front of pot holder

Back of pot holder
A pot holder I made.  I wasn't planning on making any potholders and they definitely were not on my 'things to do' list.  What was on my list of things to do was finish off those bunny softies from previous post.

I had decided to find something on tv to watch while I hand-stitched the bunnies faces, but just as I sat down with my tools and was ready to start, my daughters friend came to me and said:

"Aunty Kylie!  It's my mum's birthday today and I have no money to buy her a gift!  Could we make her a heart or something?"

Goodbye hand-stitching, hello surfing internet and browsing my craft books to find something to make.  Something quick.

These potholders from Martha Stewart fit the bill.  The only down side was that by the time we found a project and selected some fabric from my stash, I didn't have much time left before her mother arrived to pick her up.

I rushed the binding and just managed to take a quick photo before her mother made it out of the car and knocked on the door.

I am working again this weekend so plan on having a sewing day today, hand-stitching in front of the tv.  Front door is locked, phone is off the hook and my mobile has been buried inside the linen closet!  Maybe I should park my car in the next street over just in case?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Cute bunny softies

I just love this softie pattern freebie by Jenny from the Allsorts blog.  It is so easy to make and the result is so cute!  She even has a tutorial and pattern for the little dress.

I am making a few of these because they are so cute and I wanted to help out a fellow blogger's "Huggles for Kids" QLD flood appeal.  Alas I am too slow and have missed the boat for that one.  I started in late January but the softies I was making then were a bit of a disaster.  A pic below will show you the uninspiring mess I was making.

I realized while making these softies that windcheating fabric does not make good softies!  Well not this type.   Will paint some kind of face on these guys, make them some clothes and add ears or hair and see if they are good enough to send to Leanne for her on going Huggles for Kids campaign.

Hopefully if I pull my finger out, I can get all these guys finished and posted off to Leanne for  her next delivery.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

pretty pouch and paper flower thingy

I have been laughing a lot the past three days and thought I would write a really funny post, but alas, zilch.  The minute I sat down to write in my blog I got a blank mind!  So it's just my sewing news today.

I think nearly running over a drunk that staggered out into the road in front of my car and also the wind ripping my car door out of my hands and knocking into the car next to mine, might have something to do with the laughter fading away today.

Also getting told off for committing a small act of kindness towards some strangers really wiped the smile off my face.

But guess what makes me happy?

Sewing this pouch made me happy!  A beautiful free pattern, with a clear tutorial, from Skip to My Lou.  I made a few at Christmas for gifts but forgot to take pictures!

The flower is a little project I found in this book.  It uses a toilet roll for the petals.  Pretty paper is glued to the toilet roll before 'slices' are cut out and semi flattened into the petal shapes.  Tissue paper is used to cover the petals and then its decorated as desired.  I am going to thread beads onto mine and hang it from the window.  I think it will look pretty with a cluster of these all hanging at different lengths.


Friday, February 18, 2011

OWOH Winner Announcement!

Wow!  What a ride OWOH was.  I am still feeling a bit giddy from reading so many exciting blogs!  So many talented people out there who took my breathe away with their talent.

I was so inspired by all the art that I lost my sewing mojo for awhile and developed some arty mojo!  I dabbled in some bread dough making and sculpting that I have never tried before!  Here is a peek at the mess stuff I made!

Yes its bread dough but it looks like icing or fondant for cake decorating!  I used food colouring but could have used acrylic paint to get deeper colours!
Bread dough recipe I used is here if anyone wants it.  A big thank you to Jeanie Callaghan from the blog 'All My Artist Trading Cards' for the bread dough recipe.

Okay!  Now onto the winner of my OWOH giveaway!

The lucky winner is Heidi, a digital misfit from 'My Hiding Place in Cyberspace'!  

Congratulations Heidi!  An email is on its way to you. 

Thank you to all the wonderful people who entered my giveaway and I hope you all have a fantastic day.


Monday, January 31, 2011

One World One Heart

G'Day friends!  Old ones and new ones!  Welcome to my blog 'Antmee' on the One World One heart blog hop!

I go by the name of Kylie and live in Murray Bridge, South Australia.  I love to buy fabric,  lot's of it and so was born the urgent need to start sewing!  I found I quite like sewing too, except when things go belly up and needles break on the sewing machine or fabric jams into the machine!  I love making functional things like bags and kitchen accessories (Zakka) and cuddly things like softies and sock creatures.  Actually I will make anything, even just pretty flowers or fruit.

My 'door prize' for this blog hop is the cutest bear I have ever made!  I am really happy with how this little cutie turned out as it was the first time I have sewn something using furry fabric.

This bear is approximately 50cm/20" tall.  So not so small but just right!

I made this bear especially for this blog hop and I hope you would like to take her home.  Just leave a comment with a way for me to contact you and I will pick someone using the random number generator on the 17th Feb.  Giveaway is open to everyone that has a active blog and you can live anywhere on Earth.

Just for fun, if you can suggest a name for this bear it would be awesome.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have the best time on Lisa's blog hop!


Sunday, January 23, 2011

small time filler projects

I found this luscious piece of deep red velvet looking plush and immediately decided it would make perfect strawberries.  I used this pattern and tutorial from Embroideroo.  They turned out a little larger than I wanted and a second look at the tutorial states "pincushion".  Should have been a clue to silly me!  I'll shrink the pattern next time, but they were very nice slack time sewing.  I am currently working a project for the  OWOH  give-away-athon and have one week left to finish but needed a little "time out" project.
Tutorial can be found here.

Yummy fruit hey!  The apples are from a Tilda craft book called Sew Pretty Christmas Homestyle.

Hand sewn beads are lovely and wonderful to do while watching TV but knocking the bead container over and spilling thousands of seed beads all over the carpet is not wonderful!  I spent ages picking up all those beads instead of just vacuuming them.  After all they were only a couple of bucks to buy.  I learnt a piece of paper is great for sweeping beads onto and then using as a funnel to pour them back into their container.

I got a little carried away making lots of red apples!  This fruit basket was a freebie from some wine selling merchant that knocked on my door.  He did talk me into buying some wine and threw in a free bottle of strawberry wine for me to try.  It was so delicious I ordered two cases more of the stuff.  Chilled it is the most awesome refreshing summer wine and best of all it has a very low alcohol content so visitors can have a glass and still drive home.

Another project to take me away from my OWOH project are these pouches.  I have made the same size as the tutorial and they are palm size pouches which make good  gift bags for little gifts like brooches, hair accessories, jewelery etc.  Tutorial was found on a wonderful blog called Maccabags and is quite a well made tutorial with good pictures.

I better get back to my OWOH project.  I am at that stage of changing my mind on some fabrics I have chosen to compliment the main fabric.  This is the time consuming part for me.  Choosing is so hard! lol

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

2011 OWOH begins soon

For those who joined last year, the fifth and final One World, One Heart begins on 30 January.  For those who are new to OWOH it is best if you click on the picture below which will take you to the hosts blog to get all the info.  She had over 1000 participants last year.  I met a lot of talented people and have been reading their blog ever since.  Basically it is a massive get to know you blogathon/ giveaway-athon!  It's open to anyone from anywhere as long as they have a "working" blog of their own.  I loved it last year.  You will love it this year.  Come back and see me Jan 30th!

Kylie xx

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sewing disaster

Look closely.

After all the sewing and hand stitching of applique  for a supposedly quick project I held the iron down on the hem a bit too long.  OOps!  Scorched the hem.  Never burnt a thing before in my life (except dinner and maybe myself!).

Oh well!  It's only a hand towel that won't last long around my family!  I am pretty sure the guys in the house don't dry their hands with towels but wash themselves with them!  The towels get so grubby so quickly it drives me nuts.

Here's pretty while it lasts!

Can you see the scorch mark on the spotty hemline just under the apple?
I have washed and washed the towel but the scorch mark remains.

I wonder if technology has come up with an iron that has sensors in it to tell idiots like me to lift off the iron?  Maybe just one that chants "focus" may help my drifting mind!  At least it wasn't on the quilt I am cutting out!